Northern Illinois hires Bennett as head coach

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Associated Press
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
— Kathi Bennett has been hired as head women’s basketball coach at Northern Illinois University after spending the past two seasons as an assistant at the University of Wisconsin.

As a head coach, Bennett has a 296-177 career record for a .628 winning percentage.

Bennett, who grew up in Stevens Point, is the sister of Virginia men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett and the daughter of former Wisconsin coach Dick Bennett.

“I feel like this is the opportunity of a lifetime for me,” Kathi Bennett said in a story on Northern Illinois’ website. “It is rare to encounter an opportunity where everything is perfect—the timing, the situation, the people. I feel like that with this head coaching job at Northern Illinois.

“This is a place where we can contend for the MAC title, and become a player on the national scene,” she added.

Bennett coached the UW defense and helped the Badgers reach the NCAA tournament in 2010, their first NCAA appearance in eight years.

Bennett’s 17 years as a collegiate head coach includes stops at Marycrest College (1988-89), UW-Oshkosh (1989-96), Evansville (1996-2000), and Indiana (2000-05).

Teams coached by Bennett have made nine postseason appearances, including eight NCAA tournaments, and have won five conference titles. Her 2002 Indiana team won the Big Ten Conference tournament as the No. 5 seed, while her 1996 UW-Oshkosh team (31-0) won the NCAA Division III title.

Bennett played at UW-Stevens Point and UW-Green Bay.

She replaces Carol Owens, who resigned April 29.

Last updated: 2:10 pm Thursday, December 20, 2012

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